Have you ever done a race to honor someone else? Earlier this spring I did my first race for someone else. With a group of friends called “Team Bethany,” we participated in a women’s only half marathon in New York’s Central Park. My very good friend Bethany died unexpectedly last fall after registering for the race. So those of us who knew Bethany best decided we would run the race she wasn’t able to run. I had the most wonderful experience running the last few hundred meters of the race holding Bethany’s daughter’s hand. At 5 years old she had already seen her mom race in a triathlon and understood why we all came to the race. As you can imagine it was a very emotional race for me with many tears. At the end, I gave Bethany’s daughter my finisher’s medal which she loved.
Since that race I have had the pleasure of giving two Sole Sisters Women’s Race medals out to women that are either personally fighting cancer or running now for a friend with cancer. Those instances of giving away a medal got me thinking about something that as race director I can do.
Going forward, if you are a participant in any Sole Sisters Women’s Race events and you are doing your race for someone else I’d like you to reach out to me to get a medal for that person (or for their family).
Caitlin, our communications director here at Sole Sisters wanted to add to this blog, and share her own experience with you all – so scroll a little further to hear her story.
I know that some races aren’t on the roads but are in hospitals, in homes and elsewhere and if we can show them we know that they are racing too, let’s do it. And who doesn’t love a bit of bling? – Stacy
“My mum wasn’t a runner. She loved to walk, but it was an after-dinner-stroll, or a walk around the mall typically (and $500 later!).
In January 2016, my mum got sick. Really sick. She had been diagnosed with AML or as we called it GDC – God Damn Cancer. Our world was rocked. She was the centre of our universe, the glue that held us together and the spirit that ran through our entire family. Every single person that met my mum, loved her. She radiated joy, adventure, love and good energy – and her smile was infectious.
Mum was sick for 8 months, and spent almost that time in hospital, only going home for a few weeks once, when we thought the cancer had gone. My family and I spent every minute with her, friends came for hours on end, and not once did she sleep in that hospital alone.
Energy, good energy is extremely important to us – and maintaining a positive energy for 8 months, in a grey hospital room had its challenges – as I’m sure many of you know. Friends came by with food, blankets, smile and great stories. One friend, she didn’t bring cookies or socks – she came with a hoodie, a medal and a promise. When my mum was better, she would get to walk in Sole Sisters. That medal hung in my mum’s hospital room, and it gave her hope. It was a priceless gift that helped bring that positive energy in the room when we felt like there was none. It wasn’t just a medal, it was hope – and I will never be able to thank Sole Sisters enough for that.
We lost my mum one year ago this week. It’s been as awful as you would expect, our world did crumble and our glue became unstuck – but it was her energy, her joy, her love for life and her hope that we remember as we try and rebuild.” – Caitlin